By Simon Jessop and Valerie
GLASGOW (Reuters) – After
a three-decade struggle, some
of the world’s most climateharmed
countries are inching
closer to securing more help
for the devastation caused by
The first call to address loss
and damage caused by climate
change came in 1991,
when small island nations first
pushed to create a mechanism
to compensate vulnerable
countries for destruction
caused by climate impacts such
as rising sea levels and supercharged
wildfires. Rich nations
resisted acknowledging financial
liability for their years of
emissions that drove climate
change as they rose to economic
The impasse continued
through years of U.N. climate
talks. But in a draft document
released at COP26 in Glasgow
on Friday, negotiators for the
first time laid out a pathway for
addressing the issue by establishing
a dedicated agency. Yet
the draft stops short of setting
up a fund to compensate
climate-linked losses and damage.
countries acknowledged the
“There are some important
hooks there that we can
build on, but we still have a
long way to go,” said Simon
Stiell, Grenada‘s minister for
climate resilience and the environment,
Caribbean Life, N 8 OVEMBER 19-25, 2021
after a meeting on
the issue. He called the draft
proposal “the bare minimum”
acceptable to vulnerable states.
Currently, the draft Glasgow
agreement under discussion
commits to realising within
two years what was described
as the Santiago Network during
the last U.N. climate summit
in Madrid in 2019, to “catalyse
technical assistance” for
developing countries to address
loss and damage.
That would involve creating
a separate secretariat under
the U.N. Framework Convention
on Climate Change, the
draft says, referencing financial
and technical support for its
“That’s the start of a breakthrough
from the demands
of vulnerable countries,” said
Yamide Dagnet, director of
climate negotiations at World
The loss and damage facility
would be separate from the
$100 billion a year pledged by
rich countries toward helping
developing countries quit fossil
fuels and adapt to a warmer
But in the waning hours of
negotiations in Glasgow, climate
vulnerable countries and
said they will push for more.
Beyond creation of a secretariat,
they want a guarantee of a
fund dedicated to help recover
or rebuild when communities
are destroyed by climate-driven
floods, fires or drought.
The costs could be significant.
costs from climate-related
weather damage could total
around $400 billion per year by
2030. A study commissioned by
development agency Christian
Aid estimated climate damage
could cost vulnerable countries
Grenada’s Environment Minister Simon Stiell speaks to the
media at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), in
Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, Nov. 12, 2021. REUTERS/Yves
a fifth of their gross domestic
product by 2050.
The United States and European
Union have long resisted
creating a fund for such payments,
concerned about being
on the hook for compensation
Vulnerable states call climate loss
and damage deal ‘bare minimum’
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